Dr. Dre

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

What was the Accusation?

In November of 1990, a rap video show called Pump It Up ran segment on the group N.W.A. in which it showed some members of the group criticizing another member Ice Cube and and showed a previous interview with Ice Cube in which he apparently disrespected them. The members of N.W.A. were irate with the host of the program, Dee Barnes, because they felt she had made them look bad. Founding member Dr. Dre ran into the host at a record-release party in L.A. According to a statement issued by Barnes, Dre picked her up and “began slamming her face and the right side of her body repeatedly against a wall near the stairway” as his bodyguard held off the crowd. After Dre tried to throw her down the stairs and failed, he began kicking her in the ribs and hands. She escaped and ran into the women’s restroom. Dre followed her and “grabbed her from behind by the hair and proceeded to punch her in the back of the head.” Finally, Dre and his bodyguard ran from the building. Far from denying the attack, the members of N.W.A. insist that, as Ren says, “she deserved it “b**ch deserved it.” Eazy agrees: “Yeah, b**ch had it coming.” “Coming like a motherf***er,” Ren continues, “she shouldn’t have done that.” Barnes says that she was against running the piece in the first place, but Ren disagrees. “She’s lying,” he says. “She had something to do with it. She sure was in that scene with [Ice Cube].” And Dre himself says: “People talk all this sh**, but you know, somebody f***** with me, I’m gonna f*** with them. I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing “ I just threw her through a door.” It would take years before Dr. Dre really apologized for his assault on Dee Barnes and other women.  He released a statement to the New York Times in 2015 in which he said “I deeply regret what I did.”  In 2017, he participated in a documentary for HBO called The Defiant Ones in which he also expresses remorse. He said: “Any man that puts his hands on a female is a f***ing idiot.” Portions of Summary from Alan Light’s 1991 Rolling Stone Magazine article titled “N.W.A.: Beating Up the Charts).

Key Apologia Strategies:

Minimization, Provocation, Mortification, Corrective Action



Statement in 1991 Rolling Stone Magazine Interview:

“People talk all this shit, but you know, somebody f**** with me, I’m gonna f*** with them. I just did it, you know. Ain’t nothing you can do now by talking about it. Besides, it ain’t no big thing “ I just threw her through a door.”

Statement in 2015 to the New York Times in Response to Dee Barnes Article titled “Here’s What’s Missing From Straight Outta Compton: Me and thee Other Women Dr. Dre Beat Up”:

Twenty-five years ago I was a young man drinking too much and in over my head with no real structure in my life. However, none of this is an excuse for what I did. I’ve been married for 19 years and every day I’m working to be a better man for my family, seeking guidance along the way. I’m doing everything I can so I never resemble that man again.  I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.

Statement in 2017 HBO Documentary Series, The Defiant Ones:

I don’t think I was out of touch with reality, but I was Dr. Dre, and this was a very low point in my life.”

“I’ve done a lot of stupid s‘‘‘ in my life, a lot of things that I wish I could go and take back. I’ve experienced abuse. I’ve watched my mother get abused, you know? So it’s like, there’s absolutely no excuse for it. No woman should ever be treated that way. Any man that puts his hands on a female is a f‘‘‘ing idiot. He’s out of his f‘‘‘ing mind. And I was out of my f‘‘‘ing mind at the time. I f‘‘‘ed up. I paid for it. I’m sorry for it. And I apologized for it.

I have this dark cloud that follows me, and it’s going to be attached to me forever. It’s a major blemish on who I am as a man, and every time it comes up, it just makes me feel f‘‘‘ed up. So it’s just like, what do I do? What do I do to get rid of this dark cloud? I don’t know what else to do. I’m learning. I’m trying to become a better person, become a better man.

In the end, I’ve hurt people that I care about. And for that, I’m really sorry.”


Butler, B. (2017, July 11).  Dr. Dre confronts his 1991 assault on Dee Barnes in HBO’s ˜The Defiant Ones’. Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2017/07/11/dr-dre-confronts-his-1991-assault-on-dee-barnes-in-hbos-the-defiant-ones/?utm_term=.c06b535ee3e8

Light, A. (1991, August 8). N.W.A.: Beating up the charts. Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved from: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/beating-up-the-charts-19910808#ixzz3jEUzugjT

Vain, M. (2015, August 21).  Dr. Dre issues statement on abuse claims, apologizes to ‘the women I’ve hurt’. EW Online. Retrieved from: http://ew.com/article/2015/08/21/dr-dre-dee-barnes-statement/